Having a short-term goal in your life and your business can help you stay focused on achieving something. Having a short-term goal is also great for creating focus.
It will give you the drive to progress with your life or business, and it keeps you moving forward even when it feels like nothing is happening. It’s easy to be discouraged throughout the day with so many things coming at you, like social media updates, e-mails, or texts that can cause you to question your progress.
In this article, we’ll cover how to set a short-term goal, different types of goals, and examples. Let’s get right into it.
What Are Short-Term Goals? Definition
Short-term goals are goals that you want to achieve in a relatively short amount of time. They can be for your personal life or your professional life.
Typically, short-term goals are less ambitious than long-term goals, and they are easier to achieve. When setting a short-term goal, it’s important to make sure that it is achievable and specific.
It’s also important to make sure that your goal is motivating and inspiring. You don’t want to set a goal that you don’t care about achieving.
Finally, it’s important to remember that short-term goals should be connected to your long-term goals. In other words, your short-term goals should help you progress toward your ultimate goal.
Why Are Short-term Goals Important and Benefits of Achieving Them
There are various reasons why short-term goals are important. These include:
- They help you feel in control of your life and business
- They motivate you to achieve more
- They keep you focused on the present moment
- They help break tasks into smaller, manageable pieces that are easier to achieve
- Short-term goals allow you to celebrate your success when they’re achieved
Motivation and short-term goals go hand in hand. When you have a long-term goal, it can be hard to keep yourself motivated and focused on what’s important throughout the day.
That’s where short-term goals come into play. They allow you to create specific tasks that will help you reach your long-term goal.
For example, if your long-term goal is to run a marathon and complete it within 4 hours, your short-term goals might include doing leg stretches for 10 minutes every morning before running and going on 5 mile runs twice per week.
Completing these short-term goals will help you move towards completing your ultimate goal – running the marathon.
Another benefit of setting short-term goals is that they help you mitigate procrastination. It’s easy to get sidetracked throughout the day by doing tedious work or checking your social media updates.
When you have a goal, it helps you decide what tasks should be completed to achieve that goal. When you’re working towards completing a task associated with your short-term goals, then there’s less room for other tasks that are not related to achieving your goal.
This can help reduce procrastination and encourage follow-through on projects that are needed to be completed along the way.
Provides a clear direction
When you set yourself up for success by having steady, achievable goals set out for yourself, it becomes easier to work towards what you want to achieve.
It helps you focus on the present moment because your short-term goals help direct your path. You know which tasks are important and which ones aren’t, which means less time wasted doing tedious tasks that don’t directly impact your long-term goal.
Promotes career success
Short-term goals can also promote professional development. How? Well, let’s say there is a career goal you’ve set for yourself – perhaps it’s to become a manager within 5 years of starting at your company.
Your short-term goals could include things like taking online classes related to managing employees or getting feedback from upper management about how you’re doing as an employee.
By completing short-term goals that are related to your work, you will be able to achieve a long-term career goal.
60 Short-term Goal Examples
Short-Term Personal Goals
Personal goals can include:
- Creating a workout schedule that includes going to the gym 3 times per week, for about an hour each time.
- Decluttering your room by sorting through all of your clothes and getting rid of anything you don’t wear anymore.
- Going grocery shopping on Sunday afternoons so it’s easier to prepare healthy meals during the busy workweek.
- Planning dates with friends at least twice per month.
- Make a daily To-do list before leaving work so you remember everything you need to accomplish for the following day.
- Starting meditation practice – meditate every morning for 10 minutes.
- Set up an automated transfer from a paycheck into a savings account so there is always money left over at the end of the month.
- Cleaning and organizing your closet and drawers so you know where everything is and it’s easy to find things.
- Carving out time on weekends to take care of errands that can’t be done during the week (i.e. doctor appointments, getting the car washed).
- Delegating household chores (making a list, assigning times for when they need to be completed).
Short-Term Health & Fitness Goals
Short-term health & fitness goals can include:
- Losing 5 pounds this month.
- Exercising 3 times per week.
- Taking the stairs at work rather than the elevator.
- Drinking more water throughout the day (8 glasses).
- Planning a weekly schedule of fun activities to stay motivated and active.
- Starting to use essential oils for health benefits instead of buying supplements.
- Invest in a Fitbit or other wearable device so you can track your steps/calories burned each day.
- Checking blood sugar levels before and after each meal to make sure they are in a healthy range.
- Assessing your diet and figuring out where you’re lacking nutrients by reading through a food calculator.
- Eating more fresh vegetables.
Short-Term Career Goals
Short-term career goals can include:
- Taking on more responsibility at work – asking your boss if you can take over responsibility for certain projects.
- Do 10 informational interviews with people in jobs that interest you to learn more about the field.
- Starting a blog or website that allows you to share your passion for a certain topic and generate income from ad revenue.
- Take a class at night at a local college on a topic related to your career goals.
- Register for industry-related events in your area so you can meet professionals working in your desired job sector.
- Keeping up with relevant articles/podcasts/videos by reading one per day, listening to 1 per week, and watching 1 per month.
- Reading 30 minutes before bed every night to wind down after work.
- Allocating an hour before work every day to meditate, do yoga/stretches, and plan the workday.
- Taking a weekend trip just to relax and enjoy yourself – exploring new places/activities that interest you is a great way to recharge and get back to work stronger.
- Learn a new skill related to your career.
Short-term Goals in the Workplace
Short-term goals in the workplace can include:
- Creating a weekly schedule.
- Having lunch with one person from work per week to collaborate and learn from them/network.
- Listening in on your boss’s 1:1s for ideas on how you can improve in the future and what areas they see you growing in.
- Scheduling an hour during after-work hours (such as 5:30-6:30) three times per week to focus on personal tasks without distractions.
- Investing in a course related to your job – even if it is outside of professional development.
- Reading relevant blogs/books/articles at least per month so you stay up to date in your field.
- Taking an online course on a topic that interests you to learn more about it.
- Setting one goal for each quarter of the year – these can be long-term or short-term depending on their impact and time frame needed to accomplish.
- Learning how to type faster with both hands so you are not wasting time looking at the keyboard.
- Allocating 2 hours per week to go through LinkedIn recommendations for people who might have similar backgrounds and work interests as you, and reaching out to them.
Short-Term Goals for Your Relationships
Short-term Goals for Your Relationships can include:
- Texting your parents once per week to check in when you are with them on the phone or in-person.
- Setting up a family fun night with your siblings, cousins, etc. where you can brainstorm new activities to do together.
- Planning for an annual retreat with old friends so you can catch up and see each other outside of work/school events.
- Setting aside time for 1-on-1 chats during the week (15 minutes is enough) to catch up about anything and everything.
- Learn how to be better at communicating openly and honestly with those around you.
- Reach out to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while and ask how they are doing.
- Offering up your skills/time, whether professional or personal, to someone who asks for it.
- Knowing more about what your friends are interested in so you can suggest activities that interest them more than the activity you are planning on doing together.
- Going on at least one trip with your family every year so you can bond outside of quotidian life.
- Learning how to cook a new meal for those you love.
10 Short-Term Financial Goals
Short-Term financial goals can include:
- Saving $10/day for 30 days to test out what it will be like to live off of $300/month.
- Learning how to create a budget and stick with it so you can feel more in control of your money.
- Saving up enough money to pay for a weekend trip with friends.
- Sharing your financial goals and dreams with someone qualified (a parent, teacher, etc.) and asking them if they can help you achieve them. Creating a plan that allows you to save up enough money in one month to buy the thing you’ve been dying for.
- Put aside at least $10/week towards an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.
- Learning how much money you are spending on things you don’t need.
- Allocating $50/week towards your student loan(s) so they will be paid off by the time you retire. Creating a budget that allocates 40% of each paycheck towards bills, 20% for savings/investments, and 40% towards discretionary spending.
- Deciding to save up all of your tax refunds instead of spending it without thinking twice about it.
How To Track Your Short-term Goals
Tracking your short-term goals can include:
- Writing down the goal at the top of a paper or on an online document
- Hanging up a calendar somewhere where it is visible enough for you to see every day so you know what needs to be done.
- Creating an online document with your goal at the top, tracking progress down the side in a line graph or spreadsheet.
- Write yourself a reminder email that will show up in your inbox when needed.
- Print out the task and put it in your wallet/purse to see every time you open them so you are reminded without fail.
- Pinning your tasks on top of any digital calendar(s) so they cannot be ignored or forgotten.
- Creating checklists for each task so everything gets done correctly and efficiently.
- Setting aside time every day to cross off one thing from your list until you finish all of them.
- Have bulleted journals for each task so you know exactly what needs to be done without having to read paragraphs of information.
- Tracking progress on a day-to-day basis, rechecking it every 4-6 weeks to make sure nothing has gotten off track and everything is continuing as planned.
Quick Tips: How to Set Short-term Business Goals
Setting up short-term goals is easy once you know how to go about doing it. Here are some tips and tricks to follow:
- Identify your company’s short-term business goals for a set period
- Break down each goal into actionable business objectives
- Ensure your objectives are measurable
- Assign goal-related tasks to employees
- Measure progress regularly
Frequently Asked Questions About Short-term Goals
What are short-term goals examples for students?
Students could aim to pass a test, finish a project by a certain due date, or achieve something in their personal lives, such as exercising more often.
What are short-term goals examples for teenagers?
Teens could establish short-term goals related to their education (such as doing better than they did on the last math quiz), aiming to be more involved in school activities, or improving friendships with others.
What are short-term goals examples for an interview?
When interviewing for a job at any age, it’s important to demonstrate how you would complete certain tasks and what kind of worker you would be overall. You should always try and do your best during the interview process.